32 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2011
Date Written: May 8, 2011
What does the law mean to the common person? To better understand the operation of the law at the individual level of analysis this paper draws on psychological theories of values and on advances in rationality research to deploy a theory of expanded rationality. In this theory, values, defined as conceptions of the desirable, operate as arguments in individuals’ personal utility functions; they underlie the construction of preferences; and they provide reasons for reason-based choice. The link between values, expanded rationality, and the law is demonstrated through a number of central issues concerning the interaction between the law and individual persons - specifically, the content of law, law abidingness, value diversity in society, and value conflict.
Keywords: values, rationality, law abidingness
JEL Classification: A12, A13, D63, D64, D81, Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Licht, Amir N., Law for the Common Man: An Individual-Level Theory of Values, Expanded Rationality, and the Law (May 8, 2011). Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 74, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1925705